Woo-hoo!!! Onto stop two: Liverpool, England
Dublin was fantastic, but Liverpool is certainly one special place- especially for the music enthusiasts as we are. We had to take a short plane trip from Dublin to Liverpool- about an hour and a half long. We used RyanAir to make the hop over the sea. Though we saw many mixed reviews, the flight was painless and easy for the cheap price. It was just weird how you felt like you were inside of a flying advertisement…the flight attendants were selling just about everything imaginable hundreds of feet in the air! Anyway, I would recommend RyanAir for a quick flight, just be sure to check your luggage!
Touching down at John Lennon Airport, we took the city bus for just a few pounds to our hotel near the docks. There is tons of history throughout Liverpool, but Albert Docks seemed to be a key location for our short visit to the city- plus there was lots of life and activity in this area. Our main intentions of visiting the celebrated town was for The Beatles history and sightseeing but Liverpool was really cool!
Our first day out we explored the docks and side-streets of the shopping areas.
There was something adorably nautical and quaintly vintage in every nook and cranny- I loved just about everything about it! It almost seemed to be untouched from years past of active shipping and loading.
On the docks is the Merseyside Maritime Museum– highly recommended- containing all types of exhibits including The Titanic, Albert Dock History, Seized- customs and border patrol uncovered, and one focused on Liverpool Ancestry and Slavery. Though you could spend hours in this FREE museum, its a great walk-through and escape from any unpleasant weather.
At the time we were visiting, it was just below 30 degrees and a huge storm was expected…more to come on those details. So we thought this place was a great stop! Inside we explored the exhibits and even got to meet the sweetest volunteer who was speaking in great detail about her ancestry and family ties to Liverpool slavery. She was so inspirational for us and actually became the motivation for this blog! Anyway, check it out- especially to get some background on the actual history of the docks.
Just around the corner from the Maritime Museum was the Museum of Liverpool.Out front were some of the iconic pieces seen scattered throughout Liverpool known as Superlambanana- art piece signifying dangers of genetic engineering gifted to the city by artist Taro Chiezo of Manhattan. It kinda turns into a fun game of who can spot the most banana-lambs! Anyway, the museum is huge but definitely worth the walk-around. There are tons of kids activities and enough for adults to look at, too. The museum provides a great view of the cityscape and cool map with building names and short histories too. You can also see the Liver Bird statues up close in their massiveness.
Due to the weather forecast and warnings of a terrible storm (the storm of the century!!!) for the next day, we decided to press our luck and request the Beatles tour for that afternoon. Ca-ching! We got lucky and were scheduled to meet our driver Alan at 3pm sharp. See, we debated between the bazillion different available tours, and really since this was the main reason for our stop, we didn’t want to skimp out on a really cool experience. The company we ended up using was The Fab Four Taxi Tour. It was phenomenal and worth every pound! We got our very own private tour guide in our very own private taxi to take us around Liverpool and see the many sites and landmarks. He even gave us the customizable option of what kind of information we wanted to hear and to what extent- we chose to hear about some of the infamous architecture and Liverpool landmarks along with our standard Beatles tour (You also get options as to how long of a tour, and how many sites to visit- we did a 3 hour tour). I would HIGHLY recommend the private tour, especially if you have 2 or more people.
The tour was amazing!!! We learned so much about the city, The Beatles, and even our new friend Alan. You can go to the website to see all the places we went to- Fab4Tours– but here are just a few of our favorite spots…I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone who plans to go so I will save all the awesome stories 😉
So the rumors and reports and forecasts suggested that a HUGE storm was coming in the next day… including winds up to 35mph and SNOW!!! Now, this may not be a big deal for many people, but, as native Floridian, I had never seen snow! I was beyond excited!!!!! Jeremy, tried to enlighten me on the severity of this storm, as it actually was a pretty serious system- but I just wanted to play in it. Like a kid on Christmas Eve, I sat at our hotel window watching the wind blow through the alley and waiting for the snow flakes. I can’t even explain the excitement that rushed through my body when I woke up in the morning to find the ground covered in white snow- all I wanted to do was go outside and touch it. So we did. The streets were completely empty, not a single person was outside of their homes- but I was going to battle the wind to finally experience my first REAL winter! It was fantastic 🙂
The wind was so intense that the snow was piling vertically onto whatever was in its path, it was an amazing sight for me. At some points, walking through the streets, we would go past an alley and the tunnel of wind would be so strong that it would literally push you!
After a fun day in the snow, we packed up and prepared to make our way to LONDON!!! We walked a few blocks to the train station to collect our tickets for a mid-day countryside tour. It was a first for both of us so we were somewhat excited. The station was beautiful with huge window panels on the ceiling and an industrial glam sense to the various decor. Still storming, you could see the snow hitting the glass and pilling up overhead.
The journey was beautiful- we got to see the country-side of England, the sheep, horses, farmhouses, families sledding down the slopes of hills, some of the more industrial areas, and more snow! We later found out that the storm was massive in destruction causing hundreds of families to be trapped inside of their homes without power, flooding, building collapses, and even some deaths
On a lighter note- LONDON here we come!!!!!
There may have been some other great sites to see in Liverpool- we just didn’t have the time- do you have any suggestions???